Is Cursive Writing Recommended for IELTS?

Many students have been asking me about cursive handwriting and the best style of handwriting to use in the IELTS test. So, I want to explain to you what the examiner is looking for in your essay and how your handwriting will affect your score.

Can you use cursive script in IELTS writing?

Yes, you can use any style of handwriting you want. It is completely your choice.

Is it better to use cursive writing?

It is neither better nor worse. It makes no difference to your score.

HOWEVER, if your writing is difficult to read, you might lose points. If the examiner can’t read it, he or she won’t be able to give you a high score. Your writing MUST be clear and easy to read at all times!!

More Hand Writing Tips:

See the following link for Tips on Using Pen or PencilIf you want to learn about practicing your hand writing on the answer sheet for IELTS writing, see this link: Official IELTS Writing Task 2 Paper & Tips

Should you indent your paragraphs? See this page to learn about indenting or leaving an empty line between paragraphs:

You can find more tips and model essays for writing task 2 on the Main Writing Task 2 Page. All other main pages for other parts of the IELTS test can be found below. For advanced writing task 2 lessons, see my online store: IELTS Liz Store

Main IELTS Pages

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IELTS Diagram 2016: Model Answer

The IELTS diagram below was reported in the IELTS test in September 2016. It has been reproduced as accurately as possible. I have included measurements as it was reported that some measurements were available in the original.

The model answer will give you an idea of how to organise your writing task 1 report for these types of diagrams and how to report what you see.

I will upload a free pdf copy of the task and model answer on Friday for you to download.

ielts-diagram-sept-2016

Model Answer: IELTS Diagram 2016

The diagrams illustrate two types of stone cutting tools from three view points which were crafted by early man 1.4 million years ago and 80,000 years ago. Overall, the shape of the stones was similar in both periods but the tools from the later period were sharper,slimmer and made with more precision which shows the development of early man’s skills.

The stone cutting tools 1.4 million years ago were an irregular leaf shape with a base which measured 5 cm and narrowed at the tip. The tip, although pointed, was not sharp but blunt due to the lack of precision in making the tools. The method of carving was crude causing an irregular shape.

80,000 years ago, mankind had developed better skills and had perfected the cutting tool. By this time, the tool was more streamlined and measured only 3cm at the base. The sides of the tool were smoother and the tip of the tool was sharp, making it a more effective cutting tool.

Words = 164

You can find tips for IELTS writing task 1 by click on the following links:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Paragraphs

IELTS Writing Task 1 Conclusion or Overview

IELTS Writing Task 1 Model Answers and Tips

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Reported IELTS Writing Task 1 Sept 2016

The diagram below was reported in IELTS writing task 1 in Sept 2016. It is one of the most difficult diagrams I have seen in the IELTS test.

I will post a model answer for this task 1 in a few days. Meanwhile, feel free to post your own writing. I won’t be able to comment on it but you can compare your writing with other students.

You can find a model answer for this task here: Model Answer Diagram 2016

IELTS Diagram Autumn 2016

sept-2016-writing-task-1-diagram-stones

You can find tips for IELTS writing task 1 by click on the following links:

IELTS Writing Task 1 Paragraphs

IELTS Writing Task 1 Conclusion or Overview

IELTS Writing Task 1 Model Answers and Tips

Main IELTS Pages

Develop your IELTS skills with tips, lessons, free videos and more.

Get my free lessons by email

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Should I Indent my Paragraphs in IELTS Writing?

Many students ask me if they should indent the first sentence in a paragraph for IELTS writing task 1 and task 2. Let me explain …

In the old days, before the days when most people used computers, it was common to leave a space at the start of each paragraph. This helped the reader to know which sentence is part of a new paragraph and which is not. Nowadays, however, we don’t use this practice.

Currently, when writing by hand or typing on computers, you should leave one line empty between each paragraph rather than indenting. So, when you write your IELTS essays or your writing task 1, just start your sentences at the beginning of the line and when you have a new paragraph, miss one line.

Leaving one empty line between paragraphs is the easiest way for examiners to see your paragraphs. If the examiner can’t see your paragraphs, you will get a lower score because 25% of your marks (Coherence & Cohesion) relates to the use of paragraphs.

Can I indent and leave a line between paragraphs?

It is not necessary. Just aim to leave one line empty and don’t indent.

Will I lose marks if I indent my paragraphs?

No. It’s not wrong to indent but it’s better to leave one line empty instead. The key is making your paragraphs very clear for the examiner and having one empty line is much clearer.

Do I need paragraphs?

Yes, you need paragraphs. Your score will be reduced if you don’t use paragraphs.

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IELTS Writing Task 1 Future Prediction Model Answer

This is a model answer for an IELTS writing task 1 table of future predictions as well as past information. This type of writing task 1 requires you to use both past tense and future forms in order to present the information accurately. Download the free pdf copy of the table and answer: IELTS Table Future Prediction Model Answer

Model Answer with Future Predictions

ielts table future predictions

The table gives information about the proportion of the population who are 65 years old and over in 3 countries (Canada, Germany and the UK) in 1988, 2000 and an estimated percentage in 2030.

Overall, the population of elderly people is predicted to rise in all three countries from 1988 to 2030. The highest percentage of older people was in Germany, which will continue to remain the highest in 2030, while the lowest proportion can be seen in the UK over the period given.

Between 1988 and 2000, the aging population of Canada and Germany went up by around 5% to 20.67% and 25.32% respectively. The UK, on the other hand, showed relatively little change in the proportion of its population aged 65 plus and remained at just under 15% in both years.

By 2030, it is expected that the population of people aged 65 and above will increase by approximately 5.5% in all three countries. The percentage is forecast to reach 30.42% in Germany, 26.35% in Canada and 20.35% in the UK.

Recommended for IELTS Writing Task 1

Main IELTS Pages

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IELTS Writing Task 1 Table with Future Predictions

The IELTS table below shows information with both past and future predictions. This IELTS writing task 1 table appeared in the exam recently and has been reproduced as accurately as possible with data provided by a student called Oyon (April 16th). This table is the IELTS academic writing test.

I will post a model answer for the table below next week.

If you want to try this task 1 table with future predictions, please post your writing in the comments box below. However, I am not currently available to comment on your writing. This will solely be for the purpose of practice and to compare with my model when it is published.

IELTS Table with Future Predictions

ielts table future predictions

Useful Links for Writing Task 1

Main IELTS Pages

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IELTS Tips: How words are counted

Learn how your words are counted in IELTS. This page explains about counting words, numbers and symbols. You need to know how words are counted for IELTS listening, reading and writing. If you make mistakes with the number of words, you can lose points which can affect your band score.

How words are counted in IELTS

1. Numbers, dates and time are counted as words in writing. For example 30,000 = one word  /  55  = one word  /  9.30am = one word / 12.06.2016 = one word. In listening, 30,000 is counted as one number and 9.30AM is also counted as one number.

2. Dates written as both words and numbers are counted in this way: 12th July = one number and one word.

3. Symbols with numbers are not counted. For example, 55% = one number (the symbol “%” is not counted as a word). However, if you write “55 percent” it is counted as one word and one number.

4. Small words such as “a” or “an” are counted as one word. All prepositions, such as “in” or “at” are also counted. All words are counted.

5. Hyphenated words like “up-to-date” are counted as one word.

6. Compound nouns which are written as one word are also counted as one word. For example, blackboard = one word.

7. Compound nouns which are written as two separate words, are counted as two words. For example, university bookshop = two words.

8. All words are counted, including words in brackets. For example in IELTS writing, “The majority of energy was generated by electricity (55%).”. This sentence is counted as 9 words. The number in brackets is counted.

Tips

Advanced IELTS Writing Lessons: Liz’s Advanced Lessons

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Answer for IELTS Writing Task 1 2016

The IELTS model answer below is for a recent IELTS writing task 1 which was reported in early 2016. The two pie charts and bar chart are illustrated beneath the report. Further down the page, you will also find examiner comments and a download link for this model answer and task. Also note the useful links provided for more IELTS writing task 1 lessons. This is for the IELTS writing task 1 academic test.

IELTS Model Answer, Reported 2016

The pie charts give information about how the world’s water is distributed, whereas the bar chart illustrates the percentage of water used in agriculture, domestic use and industry in three countries (Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Canada).

Overall, salt water makes up an overwhelming majority of the world’s water. Fresh water is made up of mainly water from ice and glaciers. While most water in Egypt and Saudi Arabia is used for agriculture, in Canada it is predominantly used for industry.

The pie charts show that 97% of global water is salt water compared to a mere 3% which is fresh water. Water from ice and glaciers accounts for 79% of all fresh water as opposed to ground water and surface water (20% and 1% respectively).

In terms of the use of water, both Egypt and Saudi Arabia use almost 80% of their water for agriculture in comparison to domestic usage and industry which account for approximately 15% and 10% respectively. The reverse is seen in Canada where only 10% of water is used for agriculture and domestic purposes in contrast to industry, which uses 80% of water in Canada.

Words = 189

IELTS Writing Task 1 Charts Jan 2016

Download this writing task 1 with model answer: IELTS Writing Task 1 Charts & Model 2016

Examiner Comments:

The information is well organised into logical paragraphs. The overview paragraph contains the key features of all charts. Information is accurate and no irrelevant information is given. There is a flexible range of linking devices for showing comparisons. Vocabulary is well used and this report contains complex sentence structures.

Recommended

Liz’s Advanced Writing Task 2 Lessons: Advanced IELTS Writing

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